AUM. AUM. AUM. The Yogini, unfortunately, does not have even the most basic draw or paint

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AUM. AUM. AUM. The Yogini, unfortunately, does not have even the most basic draw or paint program for her computer. NA MA SI VA YA!!!! I wish I did, for I would love to be able to write the Sanskrit glyph/letter AUM, “the Word,” the beginning and end of all mantras. The powers of description aren’t quite up to the task, but here goes: Imagine the number 3, but written in a shadowed, or outlined form, and being rounded rather than angular. From the central indentation (the mid-point between the two semi-circles of ‘3’) a curlie-Q goes out to the right, then forms an under-curled hook. Atop the ‘3’ are an *upturned* crescent moon, and a *downward* pointed solar ray atop the crescent. In other words, the lunar and solar are represented diametrically opposite from their usual directional flow. The AUM-glyph’s resemblance to the numeral 3 is very synchronic; in that AUM indeed represents the omnipresent ‘triad.’ The inversion of the solar and lunar symbols has a meaning: full resolution of all dualities. Male and female principles in harmonious union, the solar and lunar eclipse, and all Sanskrit vowels and consonants returned to their primordial point of emergence. In Tantra, the symbol represents the consummation of Tantric lovemaking. An 18th century Rajasthan painting of the AUM glyph depicts Brahma, Siva, and Visnu within the circles of the three; and the Rudra aspect of Siva—the androgynous, or combined depictation—as the descending ‘hook’ or ‘silent M.’ The AUM-glyph also symbolizes the Yogic Subtle Body. The sun symbolizes the solar plexus chakra, inner sun, and its subtle nerve, the Pingala. The moon symbolizes the down-turned crescent located at the hairline, between ‘third eye’ and crown chakras, the lunar energy, and the subtle nerve Ida. The flame of the fire symbolized Kundalini rising; making the AUM a glyph of cosmic liberation. The Mundaka Upanisad, one of the earliest post-Vedic texts, describes the AUM thusly: “AUM is the bow. The individual Soul is the arrow. Brahman is the target. With a tranquil heart, take aim! Lose thyself in Brahman, even as the arrow loses itself in the target.” A traditional Hindu folk-tale says: “There was of a time, a Yogi, who sat in contemplation, asking himself, how does one cross over from the phenomenological to the Infinite? After a time, the answer came to him: *Build A Bridge.* And so he did.” AUM is the bridge that this Yogi built. This powerful seedsyllable has also been called the ‘boat’ which crosses the river to higher spiritual realms; the creative power (the ‘Word’ of Brahma the Creator), the sound of passionate love fulfilled, and the Supreme Mantra. While there are literally hundreds of thousands of Mantras, AUM is the sound which starts the *vast* majority of them. As all matter emerges from and will eventually recede back into the transcendental dance of Siva/Sakthi, all Mantras emerge from and eventually recede back into the transcendental song of the Supreme Mantra. Rather than its more common English spelling OM, the mantra actually *is* a triad, which is why more knowledgeable translators use the AUM spelling. There are three separate, distinct sounds, which have different vibrations. The first is AH. AH is fairly short, segueing neatly into the second; OO, which is intoned for a bit longer, then finally into MM, which continues, if changed aloud, until the breath is gone, and the sound fades away peacefully. Before intoning AUM, one must inhale completely, filling the abdomen, ribcage, and throat with vital air, the mouth open widely, and the tongue, palate, teeth, throat, etc., allowed to enunciate each distinct syllable in proper cadence. The traditional texts state than Yogis should use a deep, diaphragmatic tone while chanting AUM; while Yoginis should use a high, sweet, pure tone. AUM has been referred to, in times far pre-dating the Biblical Old Testament, as ‘The Word.’ It is said to have been the original sound of Brahma, the Creator. (*Note: Brahma, as opposed to Brahman, the gender-neutral ‘One’ ‘Source’ ‘Universal Soul.’ While all emanates from Brahman, Brahma is the manifestation of Creator, and it was he who intoned the Word and brought the world into Being.*) As with all Mantra, it is generally accepted that one begins by intoning AUM aloud for a time, then softly, under the breath, and finally, silently. At all times—including and *especially* during silent repetition—the vibrations must be ‘felt.’ Once you get a feel for the vibrations of the AH-OO-MM, you will be able to maintain them, sotto voce and silently as well as aloud. This is most important! Allow the vibrations generated by the Supreme Mantra to flow through and fill your physical and Subtle bodies as you intone it. AUM has been said to purify the body, mind, emotions and spirit; it most certainly assists in gaining conscious control over focus and steadiness of the mind, as well as, again, enabling the triad of body/mind/breath to move together as one. “There are two ways to contemplate Brahman, the original Source. These are by sound and by silence. By sound we go to silence. The sound of Brahman is AUM. Through AUM, we move to silence.” —MAITRI-UPANISAD. AUM. AUM. AUM.

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